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Around the Rink – Tuesday, January 18th

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With 10 games tonight, we’ll keep these previews short and sweet. As always, start times go according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).

7:00 pm

Detroit @ Pittsburgh

No Sidney Crosby or Pavel Datsyuk? That’s fine, because these two teams still boast other world-class talents to enthrall the hockey world. Who knows if these two clubs can manage another Stanley Cup final confrontation, but would it be that shocking if this ended up being a preview?

Washington @ Philadelphia

From a possible SCF preview to a possible Eastern Conference final sneak peek, tonight’s games has a little of everything. (But jeez, schedule makers, couldn’t you spread the wealth?) Both teams are playing pretty well, so this should be fun.

Boston @ Carolina

This might not be the same marquee matchup as the previous two games, but considering the 7-0 drubbing Boston handed to Carolina on Monday, it should be interesting. The Hurricanes have a great chance to get into the playoff picture, but getting pounded by Boston again wouldn’t be good for their mojo.

7:30 pm

Montreal @ Buffalo

This might not be a high-scoring game, but if you like great goaltending, a probable Carey Price vs. Ryan Miller showdown should leave you satisfied. (Then again, merely writing that might jinx the game into a 6-5 slugfest.)

Columbus @ Tampa Bay

The Lightning are tied with the Islanders for the most goals allowed (148) while the Blue Jackets aren’t far behind with 142 allowed. Odds are high that this game will be the polar opposite of the Montreal-Buffalo game, but we’ll see.

Anaheim @ Ottawa

It feels awkward to remind people that this is a rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup finals considering how much these teams have changed. But when you factor in the absence of Jason Spezza and Ryan Getzlaf, it’s probably the easiest way to hype it.

8:00 pm

Los Angeles @ St. Louis

The Kings are coming off of a tough loss to the Stars last night and lost nine of their last 11 games. Meanwhile, the Blues are strong at home, more well-rested and will welcome TJ Oshie back into the lineup. St. Louis needs to win games like these, but it won’t be easy. I think.

9:00 pm

Nashville @ Phoenix

If the playoffs began today, this would be the fourth vs. fifth seed series in the West. Two scrappy teams known for making the most of what they have? That would be a sleep aid for casual fans and a treat for hockey dorks.

Vancouver @ Colorado

It doesn’t take a connoisseur to appreciate this one, though. The explosive Avs take on the league-best Canucks in Colorado. Sounds good to me.

9:30 pm

Minnesota @ Edmonton

The Wild hold a 13-point standings advantage over the Oilers, but how many hockey people would take Minnesota’s roster over Edmonton’s in the long haul? If you raised your hand, I’m worried about you … or you really, really like Mikko Koivu.

Colorado inks defensive prospect Anton Lindholm

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 07: Anton Lindholm #5 of Team Sweden skates against Team USA during the 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 7, 2013 in Lake Placid, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After establishing himself in the Swedish league, Anton Lindholm will head to North America.

The Colorado Avalanche announced that they have signed the 21-year-old defenseman to a three-year, entry-level contract. They selected Lindholm in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

More of a defensive defenseman, Lindholm only registered four assists in 30 Swedish league games with Skelleftea AIK in 2015-16, but he also had a team-high 85 hits despite missing a chunk of the season due to injury. During the playoffs he helped his team reach the SHL Finals by leading them in both hits and blocked shots.

That was his second full campaign with Skelleftea AIK. The next step for Lindholm will likely be for him to continue his development in the AHL.

PHT Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby eyes more history

TAMPA, FL - MAY 24:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Bob McKenzie shares his memories of Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie, who apparently was a big hockey fan. (TSN)

Don Cherry discusses John Brophy’s toughness after the former Leafs coach recently passed away. (Sportsnet)

 

A look at Vincent Lecavalier‘s career. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

The perils of flip-flopping goalies in the playoffs … although it worked out for the Penguins at least last night. (The Hockey News)

Speaking of which, will the Blues get burned for switching back to Brian Elliott in Game 6 tonight? Here’s a preview:

Sidney Crosby has a chance to join a very rare club of clutch goal-scorers if he can win it for Pittsburgh in Game 7:

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

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Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.